Rogue’s Gallery: The Art of the Siren, #32
Song: Andrea Corr: Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold (3:58 minutes)
from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys, ANTI- 2006.
1. There lived a rich nobleman’s daughter
Caroline is her name we are told.
One day from her drawing-room window
she admired a young sailor bold.
2. “Oh”, she cried, “I’m a nobleman’s daughter,
my income’s five thousand in gold.
I’ll forsake both my father and mother
and I’ll marry a young sailor bold.”
3. Says William, “Fair lady, remember
your parents you are bound to mind.
In sailors there are no dependence
for they leave their true lovers behind.”
4. And she says, “There’s no one could prevent me
one moment to alter my mind.
In the ships I’ll be off with my true love
and he never will leave me behind.”
5. Three years and a half on the ocean
and she always proved loyal and true,
her duty she did like a sailor
dressed up in her jacket of blue.
6. When at last they arrived back in England
straightaway to her father she went.
“Oh father, dear father, forgive me,
deprive me forever of gold.
Just grant me one favour I ask you
to marry a young sailor bold.”
7. Her father looked up on young William
in love and in sweet unity:
“And if I be spared ’til tomorrow,
it’s married this couple shall be.”
Explanatory liner notes by ANTI-:
A 19th century Irish folk ballad, probably first recorded by Joe Heaney in the early 1960s. This is the classic story of a young woman in love with a sailor who follows him to sea, dressed as a man. The unusual twist is that it all ends so happily.